For Posterity's Sake         

A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project

HMCS HURON 281

 

READY THE BRAVE

HMCS Huron 281

 

Battle honours and awards:  Arctic 1943-45,   English Channel  1944,   Normandy  1944,   Korea  1951-53

 

 

Laid down: 01 Jun 1969

Launched: 09 Apr 1971

Commissioned: 16 Dec 1972

TRUMP refit: 15 Jul 1993

TRUMP refit completed: 25 Nov 1994

Paid off: 31 Mar 2005

Fate: Sunk as a target ship on 14 May 2007

 

Built by Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Huron was commissioned on 16 Dec 1972. The Huron actually got her start two days early because of the ice conditions in the St Lawrence. Commissioning divisions were short and cold, -20 with a strong north wind. When we came down the river we needed ice breaker assistance to get by Quebec City. Also the supply sys failed the ship in that we were not issued modern weather jackets, believe it or not they were from WW2. When we entered Halifax they played Snow bird over the upper deck speakers. 1973 was full of ships trials machinery, sound, weapons etc. However each ship was given a first in class trial to be done. Huron was chosen to do helicopter trials because CDR Heitzman was the only one of the original CO's with DDH experience; he had been CO of Margaree. 1974 was a whole new ball game, we sailed Jan 1974 for down south for exercises with the USN, returning to slackers mid-Mar 1974. Early Apr 1974 we sailed for the Mediterranean with Iroquois and Preserver. This is when the Lisbon thing happened (The Portuguese Revolution). After Lisbon we exercised with the USN Med Fleet off the southern tip of Italy. Ports were Naples and Barcelona, returning to Halifax mid-Jun 1974. In mid-Jul 1974 Huron sailed for NATO - the first 280 on that deployment until mid-Dec 1974. In early 1975, we sailed to carry out missile firings off Roosevelt Roads, PR (aka Roosey Roads). This involved tracking trials using the CF9. Because of there limited fuel range they would have had to fly over Cuba. We could not get the over flight clearance we had to work out of Key West for three weeks. For the rest of the year did Ex SAFE PASS and a refit. We sailed in early Jan 1976 for WUPS and exercises out of Roosey Roads. Did another Ex SAFE PASS from Mayport, Florida up the coast ending just off Halifax. Huron sailed for second NATO early Jul 1976. While in Kiel, Huron's crew conducted a 3-week self-maintenance routine. On sailing from Kiel, the NATO SQN was transiting the Kattegat at night at high speeds. The NATO SQN had been dispatched to intercept the Russian air craft carrier Kiev that had broken out of the Black Sea and the Med with her escorts and was heading north. At that time she was one of Russia's latest and newest.  During the transit, we (they believe) ran over a shoal, tore off the under water telephone and took 2 or 3 large chunks off the props. I had just finished Petty Officer of the Watch for the first watch and had just got my head down when we hit what ever it was. The noise below deck was terrifyingly loud. Immediately every one was dressed and running to emergency stations, but no pipe was ever made so we all kind of milled around expecting some sort of answer to what had just happened, heard nothing so everyone resumed the horizontal. Sometime before we entered Oslo for a port visit, the sonar world reported something wrong with the underwater telephone. Divers were sent down in harbour, Joe Arsenault was one of them, he was a WU, and when they surfaced he said "what telephone?" That's when they carried out a full bottom search and found chunks missing from the props. They Navigation Officer was the OOW when it happened. A board of inquire was held on run to slackers and he wore it all. As often happens during episodes like this rumours abound. The best one was we hit a small East German sub (there were many operating in these areas). As the story goes we hit the subs sail with the section of the hull around the underwater telephone knocking it over and when it was back up right we hit it again with the screws. The supposed shoal we hit, if you looked at the chart, was really hard to see and was extremely small. Huron had to leave the SQN early and return Halifax for repairs. Admiral Boyle was pissed of that we had sustained damage and couldn't finish NATO; he tied Huron up along Halifax for approx 6 weeks before allowing us to be repaired. Early 77 I was drafted ashore to CSD as 5"54 instructor. (submitted by James Ron Anderson)

 

Huron represented Canada at the Silver Jubilee Naval Review at Spithead on 28 Jun 1977, and in 1981 carried Governor-General Edward Schreyer on a tour of five Scandinavian ports. Later in her career, she was transferred to Esquimalt, BC. She served on MARPAC missions protecting Canada's sovereignty in the Pacific Ocean and enforced Canadian laws in its territorial sea and Exclusive Economic Zone. Huron was also deployed on missions throughout the Pacific and to the Indian Ocean; specifically the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea on anti-terrorism operations. Huron has a port visit, along with Kootenay 258 and Annapolis 265 at Vladivostok, Russia from 03 to 07 Jun 1990. In the winter of 1991 Huron was deployed to the Persian Gulf as part of Operation FRICTION, the CF's contribution to Operation DESERT STORM (the Gulf War) to replace her sister ship HMCS Athabaskan as flagship of the Canadian Naval Task Group. Huron arrived after hostilities ceased and patrolled for several months before returning to Esquimalt. Huron was deployed to the Adriatic Sea in 1993 in support of the United Nations naval embargo of the former Yugoslavia. On 15 Jul 1993, Huron began her TRUMP refit at Marine Industries Ltd., Sorel, Que. In 1999 Huron intercepted a civilian ship smuggling illegal migrants off the coast of British Columbia. Paid off on 31 Mar 2005, she was sunk as an exercise target ship 14 May 2007 during Operation TRIDENT FURY, a live-fire exercise conducted by MARPAC 100 km (54.0 mi) west of Vancouver Island.

 

The 5"54 cal gun on the 280s were named after the Oto Melara technicians who built and did the FSR work in Canada.  The names for the guns were as follows:  Iroquois - Pasquale, Huron - Tulio, Athabaskan - Leno and Algonquin - Luigi.

 

Commanding Officers

Cdr Richard Irwin Hitesman - 14 Dec 1972 - 25 Jul 1975

Cdr Leonard Joseph Cavan - 25 Jul 1975 - 15 Jul 1977

Cdr Mark Hubert D. Taylor - 15 Jul 1977 - 22 Jul 1978

Cdr James Dixon Spalding - 22 Jul 1978 - 24 Jul 1981

Cdr Robert James Deluca - 24 Jul 1981 - 14 Jan 1983

Cdr Gary Leslie Garnett - 14 Jan 1983 - 02 Jul 1984

Cdr James Archiblad King - 02 Jul 1984 - 06 Jan 1987

Cdr G. Jeffrey - 06 Jan 1987 - 21 Apr 1987

Cdr J.A. Keenliside - 21 Apr 1987 - 22 Jul 1988

Cdr D.E. Collinson - 22 Jul 1988 - 03 Aug 1990

Cdr R.H. Melnick - 08 Aug 1990 - 25 Jun 1991

Cdr G.A. Paulson - 25 Jun 1991 - 27 Sep 1991

Cdr F. Scherber - 27 Sep 1991 - 24 Apr 1992

Cdr G.A. Paulson - 24 Apr 1992 - 26 Jun 1992

LCdr R.V. Marsh - 26 Jun 1992 - 11 Jun 1993

Cdr J.B. McCarthy - 11 Jun 1993 - 31 Mar 1994

Cdr Randy A. Maze - 28 Apr 1995 - 26 Jul 1996

Cdr John Scott Dewar - 26 Jul 1996 - 08 Jan 1998

Capt D.G. McNeil - 08 Jan 1998 - 12 Aug 1999

Capt R.D. Murphy - 12 Aug 1999 - 01 Feb 2001

Cdr P. Fotheringham - 01 Feb 2001 - 19 Jun 2001

LCdr W.S. Bates - 19 Jun 2001 - 2002

LCdr T.P. Wagner 2003-2003

LCdr F. Camaraire - 2003-2004

LCdr G.H. Hansen 2004 - 31 Mar 2005 

 

     In memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice    

     Lest We Forget     

 

- Book of Remembrance entry     - Grave or burial information

CALDER, Leslie James

PO1, CD

died 19 Jun 1987 

RAMSAY, Bruce Anthony

PO2, CD

died 02 Feb 1984 

 

     In memory of those who have crossed the bar    

They shall not be forgotten

A-B

Baker, Mark Raymond

1963-2014

 

 

 

 

C-D

Carter, Michael Patrick

1947-2007

Commissioning crew

Cavan, Leonard Joseph

1929-2015

2nd Commanding Officer

Ciccolella, Antonio Vincenzo

1946-1999

Conrad, Donald Edward

____-2015

Coppard, John George

1966-2012

Cox, Donald Elwood

____-2013

Dechambeau, Robert Maynard

1951-2010

Dewar, John Scott

1951-2016

18th Commanding Officer

Duquette, Gilles

____-2014

 

E-F

Earl, Kevin William

1957-2016

Served in Huron as Yeoman

Fancy, Fraser George

1944-2013

Firth, Raymond Herbert

____-2010

 

 

G-H

Groot-Koerkamp, Gerald Peter

1966-2013

Grove, Roger Wayne

1958-2013

Guilderson, Ron

1943-2001 

Hansen, Jeffrey Carl

1959-2009

Hitesman, Richard Irwin

1931-1986

1st Commanding Officer

I-J

Jones, Donald Allan

1940-2017

 

 

 

 

K-L

Leroux, Lorne Emeril

1942-2011

 

 

 

 

M-N

Mallory, John E.

____-2014

Mattsson, Thomas Edwin

____-2005

McKearney, Lyle

____-1996

Moffard, Robert Lawrence

1940-2014

Nowlan, Paddy

____-____

O-P

Ouellet, Rene Joseph

1940-2009

Owen, Mervyn

1922-2007

Pantano, Ricki Frederick

____-2003

Commissioning Crew as an ABRM

 

 

Q-R

Royle, Robert Randall

____-1998

Commissioning crew as CPO2 BN

Ryan, Allen Joseph

1953-2016

 

 

 

S-T

Shimansky, John Thomas

1946-2016

Commissioning Crew

Simpson, Jim

____-2015

Spalding, James Dixon

1938-2016

4th Commanding Officer

Stewart, Harold Douglas

____-2015

Served in Huron as Cox'n

Tighe, Gilbert Joseph

1934-2014

Commissioning Crew as a MSET

Tracy, James Richard

1959-2014

Turetzek, George Michael Alphonse

1953-2011

 

 

 

U-V

Vermette, Raymond Wilfred

1932-2016

Served in Huron for NATO 1974 as CYS

 

 

 

 

W-X

Whalen, David Bertram

1941-2016

Whalen, Michael

1944-2016

Served in Huron as Cox'n

 

 

 

 

Former Crew Members

Addison, Tim

 

Bodie, Dave, P2SG, D/Yeo

 

Debusschere, Paul 

 

Eddy, Blake, C2ERA

 

Fletcher, Bob, P1RM, POTEL

 

Jacques, Yves - 1983 - 1985 

Johnston, R.J., P1NWT - May 1995 - Jun 1998

 

Larcheveque, Richard, OBSV/AESOP - 1982 (aircrew)

 

Nicoll, Andrew, Cook

 

Obrien, Joe, PO2

 

Oliver, Jim, WO, Air crew

 

Olsen, Darren Mark

Pearson, Loren

 

Peever, P2CK

 

Sleigh, Mike, C2SN, CSE Chief  - 1981 - 1983 / C1SN Cox'n 1985 - 1987

 

Tiffin, Rick - 1990-1991

 

Watson, Bryan, P2 NESOP - 1989 - 1992

 

Wills, Al, NESOP - Apr 1987 - Jul 1987

 

 

Photos and Documents

 

RCN Memories

A wee bit ahead

I found a Soviet sub!

The Portuguese Revolution - 1974

Where's my RHIB?

 

Links

HMCS Huron - Commissioning Booklet

HMCS Huron in rough waters west of Vancouver Island - Video

HMCS Huron Day Sail - Video

HMCS Huron at the Ammo Jetty - Video

HMCS Huron transit through Active Passage to Strait of Georgia - Video

 

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